Book Report: Shin Splints by Dorothy Stroud (2012)

Book coverI got this book at the same time as I got The Way at the Friends of the Library book sale, and it make sense given my shopping habits there the last couple of years: Pore over the dollar records, pore over the dollar videos, pore over the dollar audio books, and then glance at the dollar poetry books and maybe literature section, and only sometimes do I make my way to the Better Books to look at old books, local interest, art monographs, and audio courses. This particular book was sold alone and not part of a tied set of chapbooks and pamphlets, which means I paid a whole fifty cents for the single volume. Was it worth it?

Well… It’s a two sets of poems totalling 57 pages. The first set deals with watching high school track meets, and the second set deals with school. The poet was a teacher, and her husband was a coach, so that’s where she got her ideas from. The poems are short, and the lines are very short–three to five words each most of the time, very action-oriented with a dash of imagery here or there. I mean, not bad, but not the best.

And you would think I would be the audience for this. Or sympathetic at least, as I have satten in bleachers this last spring cheering on my son who decided to do track in high school after a year off. The cover image is a track meet from field level with mountains in the background. Our photos are not as exciting. They’re from the cheap seats, and our perspective on our long-distance runner and a bit of the inner football field, maybe, is less descriptive than the photos of old. We can look back on them and say what school or gym they were in in middle school, but in the tightly focused shots this spring, they all look the same. Perhaps I shall try a wider focus next year. Oh, wait, this is a book report. Back to it….

The author has an acknowledgements page where she tells you that four of the poems had previously appeared in four different magazines/journals/zines/Web sites, and that’s nothing to sneeze at. Coffee House Memories has an acknowledgements section that is only slightly longer, and I was trying to be a poet at that time–and I really have no pub credits for poetry after like 1997, so perhaps I just don’t know what the market will bear.

Someone, though, thought enough of this book to buy it in 2012 from Amazon for $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping plus sales tax according the a paper folded inside the back cover. I cannot count this as a Found Bookmark; even though it’s a sales receipt, it’s not of a particular place or shop. It’s not even like pamphlets/flyers that came with some of the volumes of various mail-order collections which detail the book and so on. I think I’ll feed this into the shredder presently. Let that be a marker of what I think of Amazon packing lists in books I buy secondhand.

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